This year, one of the most progressively designed and most exquisite European cars of the late 1920s will be in spotlight of the Škoda stand: the Škoda Hispano-Suiza (1928). Drawing attention with its bodywork custom-designed by J. O. Jech, an independent Prague-based company, this vehicle has recently been professionally renovated and is going to have its exhibition premiere in Essen. Produced over 1926 – 1929 under a licence from the French-Spanish brand Hispano-Suiza (model H6B), a mere 100 vehicles of the Škoda Hispano-Suiza 25/100 KS line rolled off the line in total. Featuring an impressive wheelbase of 3,690 mm, the vehicle was powered by a 6.6-litre OHC petrol six-cylinder engine designed to produce 100 HP (74 kW) at 1,600 rpm and, over short spells of time, up to 135 HP (99 kW) at 3,000 rpm, and its dual ignition system and mechanical brakes proved extremely reliable. A progressive-action brake booster would use the kinetic energy of the two-tonne vehicle capable of reaching speeds of over 120 kph. In mid-September 1926, Hispano-Suiza made a comparison between the original vehicle and the licensed Škoda and found the Czech product superior in many respects, including more accurate gear control and steering.
Only a handful of Škoda Hispano-Suizas have survived, and one of the most attractive ones is this Škoda Museum exhibit: Chassis No 469, Engine No 1181. The car was bought new by industrialist Robert Mandelík, President of the Association of Czechoslovak Sugar Refineries, on 22 September 1928. After the Second World War, this robust, powerful and fast car was converted into a fire engine vehicle with a tow bar, and the turn of the millennium saw its first renovation by a private owner. Since 2010, the vehicle has been part of the Škoda Museum collection where an extensive renovation project began in August 2019, based on thorough research of archival files and with the objective of restoring the car to its original grandeur.
Škoda presented the first inline eight-cylinder vehicle of its own design in Berlin and Paris as early as 1907, and now in Essen the brand is going to highlight its impressive history of flagship products by showcasing a car by the name of Superb. Škoda used this name for the first time over 1934-1949, its modern history started in 2001 and this year will see the launch of the fourth modern generation of the Superb. The car to be shown in Essen, a Škoda Superb OHV sedan (1948) with a 3.1 l/80 HP (59 kW) inline six-cylinder engine, comes from a post-war series of 158 vehicles whose chassis (made in the brand´s main plant in Mladá Boleslav) was fitted with a body produced by Škoda´s subsidiary production site in Kvasiny. In 1968, after 20 years of service, this car became one of the first acquisitions of the then established Škoda Museum. A few years ago, the vehicle underwent a precise renovation completed in 2019.
The Škoda 1100 OHC Coupé (1959) is one of the key milestones of Škoda’s 122-year tradition of motorsport excellence. In 1959/1960, two open-top Škoda 1100 OHC racing cars were supplemented by two hard-top two-seater coupés that were primarily intended for endurance circuit races. A naturally aspirated inline engine (1,100 cc) with two camshafts in a four-cylinder head produced 92 HP (67.7 kW) at 7,700 rpm, and the two-seater with an aluminium body and a base weight of only 555 kg boasted a top speed of about 200 kph. Later, in the hands of private owners, both of the coupés were unfortunately destroyed in crashes, yet one of them was recently reconstructed using preserved components, original documents, traditional methods as well as modern technologies provided by Škoda Auto’s prototyping centre.
20 years ago, on July 25, 2003, the Deutschland Rally saw the World Championship debut of the Škoda Fabia WRC, a vehicle developed on the basis of the first-generation Fabia, a compact hatchback. The car on display was made in the first year of the model’s rallying history. The vehicle’s two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine was tuned to 300 HP (221 kW) at 5,500 rpm, and its torque of 600 Nm was transmitted to all of the four wheels by a six-speed sequential shift gearbox. The Fabia WRC was followed by a number of very successful cars: March 2007 saw the debut of the Škoda Fabia S2000 rally car which was later successfully followed by the Fabia R5/Rally2 (2015-2019), Fabia R5 evo/Rally2 evo (2019-2022) and the currently used Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. Over the past 20 years, factory teams and private drivers have notched up more than 1,500 first places and over 3,700 podium finishes.
Škoda will offer visitors of this year’s Techno Classica exhibition a very special treat, that will please their eyes and ears alike. The four-cylinder racing engine of the Škoda 130 RS will start several times a day to the delight of Škoda fans. The thrilling sound symphony will evoke memories of the great achievements of the 130 RS both on the circuit and in rally in the 1970s and 1980s of the 20th century.